Title: House of Earth and Blood
Series: Crescent City #1
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: New Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Format: Paperback
Publication Date: March 3rd 2020
Pages: 803

Synopsis (Goodreads): 

Bryce Quinlan used to light up Crescent City, partying all night in the clubs where the strict classes of angel, shifter, human and Fae merge intona sea of beautiful bodies.

And then a demon murdered her closest friends.

Two years later, when the supposed killer is behind bars but the ceimes start up again, the city's leaders command Bryce to help investigate. They assign an enslaved fallen angel, Hunt Athalar, to make sure she does. But as Bryce fights to uncover the truth - and resist her attraction to the brooding angel who shadows her every step - she finds herself following a trail that leads deep into her own dark past.


My rating: 2.5 / 5 ★

House of Earth and Blood is by far the thickest book that I've ever read, and it was also a quite difficult read for me. I'll put it out here now: HOEAB is the first Sarah J. Maas book that I read. If you're an avid fan of SJM, I'm sure you might understand my struggle because as I quote some of my friends who love SJM, "You either love or hate SJM's writing, there's no in between", "HOEAB would be a rather heavy start if one is to start reading SJM's writings", "HOEAB felt like a combination of Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses; you should probably read one of those series first before diving into HOEAB", etc.

Of course, despite owning TOG and ACOTAR, I couldn't heed my friends' advice for several reasons and end up jumping into HOEAB anyway. Did I end up loving it or hating it? Perhaps I did neither. I would say the idea of the plot as a whole was wonderful and I was mind-blown by the plot twists—but I may have some problems with SJM's writing style.

I have never read any books with so many curses and swear words.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always open with the portrayal of different types of characters, and most characters in HOEAB are angry people because of their situation, so I wouldn't have mind if their dialogues contained many colours of swear words. But the thing here is, SJM's writing style itself is full of swear words. They're in almost every single page, in descriptions and places that I found very unnecessary to be including swear words. There were too many f-word scattered everywhere, and I felt like I was reading a very angry text.

In no way am I judging SJM's style of writing because she can write however she wants to; this is just my personal opinion on it. I do admit that there were great qualities in her world building and characters. Our heroine, Bryce Quinlan is a fierce and sexy woman who knows what she wants and acts the way she wants without anyone else's opinion. She had her flaws too of course, being stubborn and constantly refusing anyone's help even when she needs it, but those qualities just made her more human (or half human half Fae) because I don't think I would like a too perfect character.

Hunt Athalar, the fallen angel assigned to check on Bryce's whereabouts is almost the typical brooding and cold male character, but I like the fact that his ruthlessness was only a mask for the true angel that he is. Well, he's definitely not an angelic angel though, because that would be boring. Although both Bryce and Hunt are good characters, I would say that my favourite character is neither of them, but Ruhn, Bryce's Fae brother. Ruhn Danaan is the kind of brother I wish I have. Minus the mistake he did to Bryce in the past, the way he constantly wanted to protect Bryce was endearing, and I could not help but hope that no one hurts him. He might be the reason (along with other characters that I'm fond of like Tharion, Aidas and Hypaxia) that I would want to continue this Crescent City series.

As I've mentioned above, I enjoyed the plot and even liked the characters, but keep in mind that I've said that this was a difficult read as well. My enjoyment for the book only became a reality after page 600. Oh yes, I'm not exaggerating at all. I had to read 600 pages of angry texts and repetitive moments—especially regarding the arguments between the two main characters—and it was honestly tiring. I get that the author might have a lot of ideas to invest and no doubt wanted to make the plot very complex, but I felt that there were a lot of things that could be omitted and probably would not affect the progress of the story at all. The last 200 pages were good, but the 600 earlier pages were just too draggy and it threw me off. If the book was shorter and quicker paced, I might have rated this book higher.

I probably would not recommend this to anyone because it was a rather exhausting read for me, but if you're a fan of Sarah J. Maas or if you're into an extremely badass I-don't-give-a-damn-to-anyone and sexy heroine, a brooding fallen angel that have lots of secrets from his dark past, and an occasional sprinkle of demons here and there—then perhaps House of Earth and Blood may be the perfect read for you.

A huge thank you to Pansing for giving me the chance to read House of Earth and Blood in exchange for an honest review! This book is currently available in all good bookstores.


Through love, all is possible.

Till next time ♡ Love, Aishah Humaira'